I wrote verbatim what came out of their mouths. Can you read my print below?
If not, I've highlighted my favorite lines for you.
From Eliza: "I've been trying to be good. But sometimes not. I hope I don't get coal... I've been helping my brothers but they don't listen to me because they're just babies."
From Ali: After asking her if she thought she'd been good. Long pause.... "I'll be gooder tomorrow and all the rest of the days." And you have to read about her concern for Dear old Santa.
From Sami: Just a synopsis: All the world needs now, is love, sweet love.
So Mr. Peeps is doing his job. I know some of you thought his name was creepy last year (and you were right) but it stuck. There's no changing it now. The girls race through the house each morning trying to find him.
One evening, after baths, I came upstairs to find a web of yarn strung through the house. I just about clothes-lined myself walking down the hallway. Eliza said it was for Mr. Peeps so he could get from his spot in the kitchen to his next destination (predetermined by Eliza) atop the light fixture in the bathroom. (Maybe he was going to tightrope walk. Or muscle his way along with those super elvish biceps of his!)
Yes, Peeps is doing his job. But I'm starting to wonder if he needs to leave a note of warning, or disappear for a few days. By 6:30 PM tonight, a lump of coal seemed like the perfect addition to the girls' stockings. I came upstairs from folding clothes to find Eliza and Sami "swimming" on the kitchen table. In their swimsuits. They had dumped cups of water onto the table and were taking turns sliding around and watercolor-painting their toenails.
Later Sami cut her hair. Funny enough, I noticed a pair of scissors had gone missing but when I asked if anyone knew the whereabouts, all the innocents chimed in like church bells, "Not me. Not me. Not me." We made an all-out search. Nothing. A few minutes later, I noticed Sami carrying a chunk of hair in hand. Behind her bed I found clumps and tufts of her gorgeous curls lying in a cemetery of other mutilated household objects - straws, paper, the tags off her baby dolls - all cut into shards.
And tonight as I was trying to make a salad for yet another Christmas party the girls lathered the boys' hair with Aveeno lotion. How does all this happen in less than five minutes? Seriously - you can't make this stuff up!
And then there's the fighting, yelling, snatching, arguing. It's enough to make me put these hoodlums aboard the real Polar Express and ship them off to a polar icecap! Yeah - you better watch out. Because tonight Mom feels more like this.
So while I take a few deep breaths and try to find that peaceful place of Advent centered-ness again (and since we're on the topic of naughty or nice), here's one of my favorite cautionary Christmas tales, written by Ogden Nash (1942).
Click and listen to storyteller David Wright read Nash's poem on NPR. It's a great one to read with your kids (especially on days like today.) Or link to the full text below.